BlueGreen Alliance Applauds Bears Ears National Monument Designation

Labor and environmental leaders speak out on President Obama's announcement today that Bears Ears will be preserved as a national monument.

December 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 28, 2016) The BlueGreen Alliance today applauded the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument. This designation ensures these treasured public lands, which encompass over 1.3 million acres in southern Utah, will be maintained and preserved, in perpetuity, by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Labor and environmental leaders today said the preservation of Bears Ears is vital for the protection of the livelihoods and cultural practices of the tribes that call this land their spiritual home.

“The designation of Bears Ears as a National Monument is a victory for our United Association (UA) brothers and sisters who are members of the thirty Native American tribes who have supported this effort. For many of these tribes, designation of this monument will help preserve their cultures, history, and way of life,” said UA International Representative Mark Butler. “We have been proud to support the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and advocate for the protection of this public land under the Antiquities Act of 1906. During his presidency, President Obama has shown to truly value the cultures and histories of all people.”

“The designation of Bears Ears as a National Monument further solidifies his commitment to recognizing the stories and identities of all Americans,” he continued.

“It’s hard to describe the sheer vastness and majesty this new national monument protects. In preserving the iconic Bears Ears, President Obama has made conservation history. These lands will now be safe from mining, drilling and other threats. It was the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition’s leadership and vision that made this possible,” said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Native peoples have called this sacred place home for thousands of years. With today’s inspired action, they’ll have a voice in keeping it safe for thousands more.”

“Preserving Bears Ears ensures that the livelihoods of the Native Americans who call this land their spiritual home are protected,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We congratulate the thirty tribes and the UA, which stood shoulder-to-shoulder to advocate for the protection of these lands. We are grateful to President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for making the new monument a reality.”

Bears Ears is named for its distinct geological formations that resemble a bear’s ears. The newly designated monument protects one of the largest cultural landscapes in North America, protecting the tens of thousands of cliff dwellings, burial grounds, and other significant artifacts.